About me

My person and your motivation

Hello, my name is Rolf Armin Schwedes and I am very pleased about your interest in me and my language trainings. As the founder of RolfsDeutschtraining, I offer language solutions tailored to the specific needs and wishes of my clients in the field of German as a foreign language.

Rolf Schwedes – Deutschlehrer

Rolf Armin Schwedes – German trainer for German as a foreign language

I have been teaching German as a foreign language in companies and language schools since 1996 and during this time I have worked with people from all 5 continents and many different countries. I therefore have a wealth of experience in the field of language teaching.

For me, the encounter and exchange with people from other cultures is one of the most beautiful aspects of the profession of language trainer. It is always nice to observe the joy and motivation with which people with a different mother tongue learn the German language.

What motivates you to learn German or improve your language skills?

Would you like to take up a job or make the next step in your career in a German-speaking country? Or is your goal to be able to communicate with German friends in German?

No matter what goal you are pursuing, my concern is to be a competent partner for you on your learning path and to support you in achieving your personal and professional goals.

My personal experience with a new language

During my long stay in Lisbon, I experienced for myself how important mastering the respective national language is for integrating into a foreign society and for achieving one’s own professional goals. I spent a year studying abroad in Lisbon and I arrived in the city without any knowledge of the Portuguese language. In the beginning, I needed some courage to formulate my first sentences in Portuguese. But after the first feelings of success, I enjoyed expressing myself more and more in this new language.

Rolf Schwedes – Deutschlehrer

Rolf Armin Schwedes  German trainer for German as a foreign language

How do I design my language training?

For the acquisition of a new language, there are learning paths and learning strategies that can vary from person to person. My exciting task is to design the content of language training so that language learners can achieve their individual goals. This is a continuous process that begins with a thorough analysis of the learning history, the learning strategies already used and the learning goals.

What has been your learning path so far? Did you take part in online or face-to-face training or did you acquire your knowledge through self-study? Do you like to learn with videos or a language app, or by regularly reading newspapers and specialist magazines? Do you like to write texts in German and thus learn the language through writing or in conversations with native speakers? In which situations in everyday life and at work do you use your language skills? What specific learning goals do you want to achieve? What communicative skills do you want to improve and what time frame do you have available for this?

I will ask you all these questions in an initial free consultation to find out what the content of a language training course tailored to your personal wishes and goals should be.

How I managed to learn Portuguese?

Personally, I spent a total of nine years in Lisbon and I acquired a good knowledge of the Portuguese language during this time. I took a language course in the first semester of my studies abroad. I was lucky enough to live in a student residence in the centre of the city. This way, I had daily contact with Portuguese students and was able to communicate in the new language right from the start. After just a few weeks, I completely abandoned English and spoke exclusively in Portuguese.

I had to prepare myself for every single situation in daily life and think about which vocabulary and which idioms I would use. I did this, for example, before visiting a government office or before a doctor’s appointment. And with every challenge I mastered, my confidence in my ability to express myself confidently and understandably in the new language grew. I learned a lot about listening and paid very close attention to the vocabulary my conversation partner used in every conversation. Of course, mistakes were my constant companions, sometimes leading to minor and sometimes funny misunderstandings. When I became aware of a mistake, I could always benefit from it and gradually improve my language skills.

In retrospect, I can say that for my personal learning success, the early language production was decisive.

Studienzeit in Portugal

1994 – During my studies in Lisbon – suddenly learning a new language and having the courage to learn by making mistakes.

What is special about my language training courses?

The participants in my language training courses have very different professions and work in different sectors. They use their language skills in everyday professional and private situations. Their communicative goals are therefore also very different.

How was your weekend?

One participant from Belarus, for example, wanted to go out with her friends to small talks in German can lead. In class, we first made a list of interesting topics. Then we chose a single topic and worked out an overview with vocabulary and means of speech. This step was then followed by the simulation of a conversation. Here, I paid close attention to which difficulties there were in the use of vocabulary and grammatical structures. For the weekend topic as an example, there were several verbs (on the topic of sleeping) that form the perfect tense with the auxiliary verb “to be”, so this structure was trained intensively. The participant was able to close her knowledge gaps and finally effortlessly report about her weekends in detail.

I would like to use this example to illustrate how I design the content of my lessons.

For me, the starting point is always the communicative goal of the participant.

What does he want to be able to do at the end of the language training? What specific vocabulary, what grammatical structures does he need? Which linguistic competences (for example: listening comprehension) does he need to improve?

After answering these questions, I consider together with the participant what form the lessons will take. How many appointments per week and with what duration are sensible? How much time does the participant have to plan each week for exercises outside of class? I determine the content of the lessons and set a time frame. I also discuss with the participant which forms of learning are suitable for him/her and provide him/her with the appropriate learning tools (for example: sets of flashcards, listening texts and videos).

In the course of a language training course, I then pay close attention to the learning progress made by the participant and change the lesson content and forms of exercise if I deem it necessary.

I look forward to getting to know your personal background and goals. A free trial session gives you the opportunity to find out if and how I can help you.

On weekends I have more time and like to take a long walk with my neighbors’ dog Momo.

How did I become a language trainer?

I was already aware during my business studies that I wanted to pursue a professional activity in which communication and contact with people would be in the foreground.

After I finished my studies abroad in Lisbon, I decided not to return to Germany. I applied for a job at a German retail company and was allowed to have my first professional experience there, which clearly showed me that a job in business did not match my personal inclinations and desires. However, I lacked the appropriate training for other professional activities and so I was unemployed for half a year until I thought about what other professional opportunities I had.

Since I was abroad, the idea of teaching German came to me quite quickly. And indeed, as a native speaker with a university degree, this was also possible. So my career as a language trainer began in 1996 with a course at the German technology company Siemens. After initial doubts, I quickly realised how much I enjoyed this profession. I had daily contact with people and could also use my creativity when designing lessons and writing exercises. Over time, in addition to the individual trainings at Siemens, I also supervised smaller group trainings at language institutes in the evenings, which was also a lot of fun.

At the beginning of the new millennium, there were several economic crises and as a result, language training at companies was no longer financially supported by the EU. This reduced my income significantly and I decided to return to Germany in 2003.

 In the first seven years after that, I didn’t have the courage to take up self-employment again and didn’t teach during that time. In 2011, an opportunity arose for me to return to the coaching profession with the help of an intensive course lasting several months. I took advantage of this opportunity and, until the beginning of the corona crisis in March 2020, I supervised classroom training sessions for companies such as Porsche, Daimler and Bosch in the greater Stuttgart area. Over the years I have developed my own teaching style focused on communication and language production and have continuously improved the quality of my teaching. This was also noticed by the language institutes on whose behalf I conducted the language trainings. Accordingly, I had the privilege, for example, to supervise the language training of Karin Radström (member of the board of Daimler Trucks and brand manager of Mercedes-Benz trucks).

Due to the Corona crisis, face-to-face language training was no longer possible in the companies for a longer period of time, which is why I started supporting online training. At the beginning, I had some doubts as to whether this form of teaching would suit me. In the meantime, however, I can say that I enjoy online teaching just as much as face-to-face teaching. In addition, online teaching enables me to supervise training courses for companies and private individuals all over the world. Therefore, I was able to supervise trainings of companies like Google or Amazon. Currently, I supervise both online and face-to-face trainings for companies and private individuals and enjoy the advantages of both forms of training.

Why did I want to become a clown?

I feel quite secure in my role as a language trainer, because as a teacher you always have a certain knowledge advantage over the German learners.

But outside this professional environment, I always felt insecure when I showed myself in any way. Therefore, the desire arose in me to regain the feeling of inner freedom. A feeling that a person possesses in early childhood, before he is taught that he has to adapt and control his behaviour to meet the expectations of the outside world.

The clown is a wonderful way to take the freedom to do something crazy and childish every now and then. Moreover, failure, that is, human imperfection, is a main component of the clown character.

It’s easier for me because of the clown training I did in 2019, laughing at myself and making others laugh. This is very helpful in the classroom to create a positive learning atmosphere. A learning atmosphere in which the joy of learning and humour are in the foreground is, in my view, the perfect basis for achieving the desired learning success with a certain ease.

And of course I can also use the clown very well in lessons with children, which I am very happy about.

How can one learn to deal with fears?

A new, foreign language opens a door to a new world and broadens our horizons. When learning this language, however, it is necessary to leave the comfort zone that our own mother tongue or the English language gives us to some extent.

Especially in the initial phase, it costs a lot of effort to communicate in the new language, as one still makes mistakes and the available vocabulary is still relatively small. In this situation, feelings of fear register in us, warning us not to show ourselves with something we have not yet mastered really well. These feelings of fear have to do with memories from our childhood, because as a child we learned to behave in such a way that we fulfil the expectations of our outside world.

Everyone knows these kinds of feelings that arise in us when, for example, we give a presentation in front of a large group of people or are the first to enter the dance floor at a dance event. You can’t fight and defeat these feelings. I know this from my own experience. In the course of my training as a soul coach, which included systemic constellation and consciousness work, I learned strategies for confronting these fears and transforming them into life energy.

In my view, when learning a language, an early sense of achievement is very important so that these fears do not reach a level that makes it difficult or even impossible to use the new language.

For this reason, the focus of my language training is on language production. I try to design the lessons in such a way that the participants can communicate in oral and written form in the new language as early as possible and can gain their first sense of achievement in the lessons.

The next important step is for the German learner to look for situations in everyday professional and private life in which he or she can use his or her knowledge and also have positive experiences. This could be, for example, a conversation with a neighbour or small talk with a new colleague. And with each positive experience, the enjoyment of the new language increases and gradually replaces the feelings of insecurity and fear that have understood that they no longer have to protect the language learner.

Every person is special and unique

My exciting task is to design language training tailored to the individual goals and wishes of German learners.

It is always an exciting challenge for me to find out how I can best support the language learners in achieving their personal goals by asking questions and trying out different forms of learning. As a rule, I succeed well, which is also shown by the many positive comments from German learners about the quality of my teaching.

Rolf ist sehr nett und ein guter Pädagoge. Er nutzt viele Medien, um das Lernen der deutschen Sprache zu optimieren. Sein Unterricht besteht aus ein bisschen Theorie und viel praktischer Anwendung! Rolf est très sympas et un bon pédagogue. Il utilise de nombreux supports pour optimiser l'apprentissage de l'Allemand. Ses cours se composent d'un peu de théorie et de beaucoup de mise en pratique. Rolf is very nice and a good teacher. He uses many media to optimise the learning of the German language. His lessons consist of a bit of theory and a lot of practical application!
Etienne della Faille
Etienne della Faille
Ich habe bei Rolf zwischen September 2022 und März 2023 Unterricht genommen. Ich denke, dass Rolf der beste Lehrer ist, den ich je kennengelernt habe. Ich hatte Deutsch vor 15 Jahren in der Vorbereitungsklasse gelernt, aber danach nicht mehr aktiv genutzt. Als ich im August 2022 nach Stuttgart gezogen bin, habe ich mit Rolf erneut Deutschunterricht begonnen. Bereits in der ersten Stunde hat er meinen Bedarf an Unterrichtsprogramm erkannt und jedes Mal sehr lehrreiche Lektionen geplant. Seine Unterrichtsstunden waren sehr gut strukturiert. Das Feedback, das er mir gegeben hat, war sehr wertvoll und hat mir geholfen, mich zu verbessern. Ich empfehle jedem, die Deutsch-Lernreise mit Rolf zu machen, und ich danke ihm von Herzen. Liebe Grüße, Irem Burcu
I did B2/C1 Course with Rolf and it helped me a lot. He customised the learning plan based on the areas which I needed to improve. It helped me a lot and I would highly recommend him.
Vibhor Jain
Vibhor Jain
Rolf is a very experienced and organized German teacher. I strongly recommend him. He also speaks Portuguese, and it is very helpful for Portuguese-speakers, who are starting to learn German.
marcos favoni
marcos favoni
Sehr professionell!
Norbert Keen
Norbert Keen
I'm learning German with Rolf for 6 months now and this has been a very interesting experience where I learned a lot -- about the language, the learning process, but also about myself! Rolf makes you speak and listen to Deutsche Sprache since Day 1 and you discover that, however small your vocabulary may be at the beginning, if you use it, -- you quickly realize that you can actually understand and say many things quite quickly! I'm grateful for this experience and recommend it to you if you're up for language learning as well as new cultural and personal discoveries!
Виктория Шмуратко
Виктория Шмуратко
Rolfs uses innovative measure to teach students German. i really liked his approach of noticing my mistakes during our conversation and giving me exact customized exercises on google drive to practice during the class. this was quite useful for me.
Sweta Bharati
Sweta Bharati
I have worked with Rolf about 6 months. He is a great teacher with excellent communication skills and he is quite motivated to improve his students. Under his guidence I did not only receive my certifications, but also improved my confidence of speaking German in the street. I recommend him to all who seek for an excellent teacher.
Uğurcan Sarı
Uğurcan Sarı
Rolf ist ein toller Lehrer. Er unterrichtet auf eine sehr einzigartige und kreative Art und Weise. Er machte das Sprachenlernen zum Vergnügen. Ich würde ihn auf jeden Fall weiterempfehlen, da er sehr organisiert, geduldig und sachkundig ist.
akshata inamdar
akshata inamdar
Rolf is a great teacher. I believe his patience and clarity of explanations make him a very competent teacher. He makes sure you fully grasp the content of the lesson by providing you with concise explanations and practical examples. Moreover, he does an excellent job at keeping the content of the classes interesting and engaging. Vielen Dank, Rolf!
Giulia Conte (CH)
Giulia Conte (CH)